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State senate race is for a 'tsunami seat'

Our 19th District race considered most competitive in California

Posted: June 28, 2008 11:07 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.

The race for the 19th State Senate district maybe the most competitive and hotly contested seat in November’s General Election, according to several political pundits. At a recent political rally in Santa Clarita, Democractic candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson have summed it a bit more visually.

“This is the Tsunami seat,” she said Thursday during a Democratic Alliance for Action meeting in Newhall.
Jackson said if she claims victory on Nov. 4, then the Democrats will have 26 of the 40 available seats in the state’s upper house — one seat shy of a two-thirds majority. In California, a two-thirds vote is necessary to approve state budgets each year. Winning the 19th district will edge the Democrats within one vote of that magical 27 votes required to pass the state budget each year.

Yet, Jackson says there is much more at stake in this election than the state budget.

“To me, it’s about the constituents,” she said. “We must bring the people’s voices to Sacramento.”

Jackson did not believe the Republicans did a good job of representing the 19th district, which includes portions of Stevenson Ranch, Valencia and Newhall. She specifically pointed out no one in the Santa Clarita Valley really knew that termed-out Republican Tom McClintock held the seat.

Jackson’s opponent, 38-year-old Tony Strickland, was a protege of McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks.

“Tony and I could not be more diametrically opposed on the issues,” Jackson said. “I am running as a representative of the people.”

While she said that McClintock did not have a presence in the Santa Clarita Valley, she is not sure that Strickland will be more receptive. Specifically, Jackson said that as a member of the state Assembly, California’s lower house, 60 of her bills were signed into law. Conversely, only six of Strickland’s bills were reportedly signed into law when he served in the Assembly, Jackson said.

Other issues she touched upon included increased funding for public education, health care reform and growth that is “intelligent” and “sustainable.”

Public safety and law enforcement was also a priority for Jackson, who said that education is the best way to prevent crime. She pointed out that if children are kept busy and productive at a young age, such as involvement with after school programs or youth sports, then they are less likely to be involved with criminal or gang activity when they get older. Jackson also stressed the importance of identifying children in at-risk families at an early age, so those children may be attended to before they, too, are labeled as “at-risk.” She also pointed out that fastest-growing industry in California is not schools, but the building of prisons.

“If we can save them early, we can do so much more for them in the long-term,” she said. “We need to make an investment on the front end instead of the back end and warehouse people in prisons. Education is the key to a healthy economy.”

The former assemblywoman indicated she does not want to isolate the Republican party by engaging in partisan politics.


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